Fantasy Football Advice for Week 11
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Every Tuesday during the NFL season, WhatIfSports.com will release its fantasy projections for the upcoming week. The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically-based player rankings. In addition to our computer forecasts, WhatIfSports.com will also offer a "creative" perspective at its fantasy football coverage in a weekly feature called "Fantasy Fever." Enjoy.
QB: Troy Smith, 49ers. Starting for an injured Alex Smith the past two games, the former Heisman winner has put on quite the performance. T. Smith has posted a QB rating of 116.6 with 552 yards and two touchdowns while leading San Francisco to consecutive victories for the first time this season. This week should prove beneficial for T. Smith, as Tampa Bay is surrendering 22.9 points per contest. (A quick list of the QBs selected before Smith in the 2007 NFL Draft: JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards, Isaiah Stanback, and the immortal Jeff Rowe. And now you know why I refuse to watch the Draft.)
RB: Peyton Hillis, Browns. The bruising Browns back has found the end zone four times in the past three games, accumulating 335 yards in the process. Week 11 opponent Jacksonville is 21st against the run, allowing 114.9 yards a game. In a related note, who would've thought Hillis would have the most successful NFL career out of an Arkansas backfield that featured first-rounders Darren McFadden and Felix Jones?
WR: Miles Austin, Cowboys. Although the Cowboy wideout caught just two passes in a win over the Giants, the offense appeared to showcase a swagger that was absent under Wade Phillips. If Jason Garrett continues to fuel a high-octane offense, Austin will regain his premier fantasy status.
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Bengals. The Cincinnati first-round pick had his breakout performance against the Colts in Week 10, garnering nine passes for 85 yards and a score. With quarterback Carson Palmer's inability to effectively work the deep ball, Gresham might become more integral in the Bengal offense for the second half of the season.
QB: Donovan McNabb, Redskins. Forget about the contrasting figures of $88/$40/$3.75 million in McNabb's contract. Shouldn't the real question be, "How the hell does one go from being benched in favor of REX FREAKIN' GROSSMAN to getting an extension of any kind?" That's the equivalent of a student dropping off the honor roll with straight D's one semester, yet given a higher monetary value scholarship despite the collapse in the classroom. Would that EVER happen? (Well, you know, outside of the SEC?) Anyway, through nine games in 2010, #5 has thrown 11 picks. To give that number perspective, in 44 games from '07-09, McNabb threw a pass to the wrong uniform 28 times, a relatively low figure. In short, stay away from McNabb.
RB: Darren McFadden, Raiders. McFadden has been one of the most improved players in the NFL and on fire the past three games, totaling 365 yards in three straight Raider victories. But McFadden and Oakland travel to Pittsburgh, where the Steelers are holding opposing runners to 63.2 yards a game. Add in that the Steelers will be looking to avenge last season's upset by Oakland (as well as the beatdown they received at the hands of the Patriots in Week 10) and McFadden may not see much daylight in Week 11.
WR: Randy Moss, Titans. A matchup against the helpless Washington secondary, which is ranked last in the league in passing defense, should be a welcome sign for Moss owners. Yet the talented-but-troubled WR is clearly not in sync with the offense. Start Moss only in deep leagues.
TE: Jacob Tamme, Colts. Tamme has worked wonders in the absence of Dallas Clark, collecting 24 balls for 245 yards and two touchdowns in the past three weeks. (Of course, Peyton Manning might have had something to do with this.) However, Tamme has been dealing with a back issue, leading to a "Questionable" designation for this week's game against New England. Monitor his status throughout the week, but be prepared to have a backup TE in the wings.
DEF: New England Patriots. The Pats are ranked 29th in yards allowed per game, as well as giving up 23.8 points. A matchup with Indy won't help those figures.
Bo KnowsYou don't mess with Bo Jackson.
Fantasy Flashback Performance: Michael Vick's magnum opus on Monday has been referred to as one of the greatest exploits in the history of MNF. This brought to mind the 1987 Monday night performance of Bo Jackson. In a showdown against Seattle, Jackson ran for 221 yards and recorded three touchdowns in Oakland's 37-14 W over the Seahawks. The two lasting images from that game illustrate Jackson on a 91-yard sprint towards the end zone and into the player's tunnel, and Jackson bulldozing LB bad boy Brian Bosworth (who had hurled verbal barbs through the media at Jackson).
Waiver Wire Watch: Redskin running back Keiland Williams is the popular pick this week, but with Ryan Torian set to return, Williams won't have long-term value. A safer route would be to acquire the services of Rams wideout Danny Amendola. Sam Bradford seems to be building a strong rapport with Amendola, who has 16 receptions and three touchdowns in the past three games. With the Rams still in the playoff picture, look for Amendola to continue to produce solid fantasy numbers.
This Week in Kevin Walter: After calling out Kevin in last week's article, Walter responded with six catches, 90 yards, and a touchdown. Let me channel my inner Happy Gilmore: "I'm stupid. You're smart. I was wrong. You were right. You're the best. I'm the worst. You're very good-looking. I'm not attractive." The lesson, as always: don't mess with Kevin Walter.
Walter's 2010 stats:28 receptions, 356 yards, 4 touchdowns.
Walter's 2010 CBC (Cornerback Body Count) : 8
Rookie Review: Normally we utilize this space to feature a rookie's highlights or accomplishments. And most weeks, two touchdowns would be ample enough evidence to validate that player's achievements. However, Tim Tebow might be the most undeserving nominee in the "storied" history of the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week award. Tebow did throw his first TD pass this past week, and added a score on the ground against the Chiefs. So why my frustration? Tebow's cumulative yardage in Week 10: five. As in, totaling five yards on three plays. Five yards on three plays should not earn "player of the week" honors of any forum, let alone Rookie of the Week distinction. I get why people love the guy, but geezle petes.
Gatorade Shower Goes To: Michael Vick. Six touchdowns. Enough said.
Personal Foul On: People telling their sob stories about getting screwed by Michael Vick's Monday night's masterpiece. It was only Week 10. On the fantasy football heartbreak scale of one to Michael Westbrook's kneel down, it's not even a six.
Varsity Blues Quote of the Week:
Billy Bob: The nurse doesn't think I should play.
Coach Kilmer: Oh she doesn't, does she?
Billy Bob: 'Cause I whacked my head last week.
Coach Kilmer: She don't have no division title to win.
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